Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Vision Thing Again

Bipolar ski news this weekend...the old yin and yang if you will. Last week's storms brought welcome rain and snow to the Tahoe Sierra bringing the season totals to around 50% of normal. This winter, this passes for the good news...

The Sacramento TV News WeatherTalkers forecast more snowfall plus lousy driving conditions for Sunday, which torpedoed the weekend crowds for the resorts. I don't even know what CalTrans was thinking...

I watched chain controls march up the hill thanks to the dual remote marvels, webcams and Twitter. CalTrans lifted controls Sunday afternoon just in time for the lowering sun to allow the still wet superslab to refreeze with the inevitable consequences...the interstate was closed for "accidents and spin-outs" for hours. I saw this one coming...CalTrans? Not so much...

I don't know if it was snowfall induced exuberance, or lack of foresight, or what that made for a deadly weekend on the slopes. The Reno paper reported some of the carnage. Truckee's local paper has a sad round-up.

The avalanche at Kirkwood happened in bounds around 2:15 in the afternoon, the two skiers were very lucky to escape with their lives. With Friday's long period of rain to 8500ft, avalanche hazards will be heightened for days...there's several unstable layers in the snowpack that will remaining unstable for the duration. I cringed repeatedly as I watched the tweets from various resorts announcing the popular out-of-bounds access points opening. I wonder if the Marketing departments are coordinating their messaging with their Ski Patrol's Avalanche Gurus?

There was a happy ending up on Mt Rose. Three skiers and two snowmobilers in two groups became lost out of bounds, and were found before they found more adventure than they bargained for...they phoned for help when they knew they were lost...The Mt Rose summit is filthy with antennae of all kinds, some of them cell phone towers...Can you hear me now?

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